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12/2/18 First Sunday of Advent - Fr. Damian

Is there anything holding you back from the joy and freedom of the Lord? God wants our hearts for him and for his kingdom of peace, joy, and righteousness. But our hearts can be weighed down by many different things. Jesus, our Lord and Master, offers us true freedom - freedom from the power of sin and wasted life, and freedom from our unruly desires and disordered passions - such as making food, drink or anything else our master rather than our servant. Jesus wants our hearts to be ruled by one thing only - his love and truth which enables us to choose whatever is good and to reject whatever is evil and harmful for us.

 

Jesus also warns us of the temptation to slacken off - to become spiritually idle, lazy, indifferent, or inattentive to God's presence and his word and guidance for our lives. We can fall asleep spiritually if we allow other things to distract us from the reality of God and his kingdom. It is very easy to get caught up in the things of the present moment or to be weighed down with anxious cares and concerns. The Lord wants us to be ready at all times to meet him - whether it be in our rising, eating, working, or taking our rest. He comes to draw us to himself - are you alert and attentive to his voice?

The Lord knows our struggles, weaknesses, and shortcomings. And he assures us that we do not need to carry our burdens alone nor struggle without his help.

He is always very present and ready to give us whatever strength, guidance, and help we need to fight temptation and to stay the course which he has set for us. But there is one thing he doesn't tolerate: indifference, an attitude of not caring, and doing nothing! The Lord wants us to cast our anxieties on him and to ask for his guidance and help. Do you pray for God's strength and wisdom?

 

Until the Lord comes again we can expect troubles, trials, and temptations. Our adversary the devil does not rest in his attempt to lure us away from God's will for our lives. If he cannot succeed in getting us to renounce our faith in Christ, he will try, little by little, to distract us from pursuing God, especially in prayer and listening to his word. Ask the Lord Jesus to rekindle the fire of his love in you so that you will be ready and eager to meet him when he comes again.

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